Family farm holidays in Cornwall magical for children, toddlers and babies.
Coombe Mill Blog
"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.
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Here at Coombe Mill we are ready to enjoy the festive fun to begin. The planning is done, present wrapping begun and the place is looking its seasonal best. I’m a great believer in planning, not because I like to gloat, but because I want to enjoy the Christmas week myself and I’m not good at handling last minute stress.
The lights are up around our log store and across the car park and the phone box is also lit. This has the dual purpose of looking festive and helping you to navigate the farm in the early evening darkness.
Christmas Trees in all our properties
Our properties each have a tree with lights on ready for our guests to arrive. In addition there is a box of decorations for each family to embellish their tree to their own design on arrival. Speaking of arrival, we also ensure the fire will be lit and the heating and hot water all on to make your Christmas visit welcoming and relaxing from the minute you arrive.
Christmas Eve Family Entertainment all planned
Christmas Eve is an afternoon of entertainment for the children here at Coombe Mill. We will have fun making Snow Globes for our festive fun craft in the afternoon. This is followed by a trip to the village Christingle service for those who would like to participate; Santa makes an appearance and there is a treat for everyone.
Back at Coombe Mill we start the evening off with a drinks party in our games room for all our family and guests to meet and chat over a glass of bubbly and a bite to eat. As a special treat for the children, Santa will be there too, in a purpose built Grotto for all to visit.
Farm rides throughout the festive fun
Out on the farm the feed run will run each day with the usual swell of enthusiasm from our little helpers. This is the perfect way to learn about the farm and run off some of that Christmas excitement each morning.
Christmas Bear on Social Media
I’d love you to follow our fun on social media too. We have our very special Christmas Bear out in a new location each day. See if you can spot him on my Instagram and Facebook stories and see what he gets up to. Each week in my main feed you there is a summary of the week’s activities and locations.
Get ahead for some Christmas festive fun for next year
We still have some last minute space for this year, or why not take up our December offer from my last post: Book head for next year now in the property of your choice and pay nothing till March 2020 just by writing “Pay March” in special instructions when booking on line.
A break for us too
With all this in place and nearly 2 weeks to go, we are enjoying a couple of mini breaks ourselves before our extended family and guests arrive.
Whatever your plans this Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, peace and family festive fun.
For growing kids with a developing appetite for discovering the planet and the animals that inhabit it, we have the perfect book. Animal Atlas from Lonely Planet Kids is a wonderful resource for children age 8 – 12 year olds. Not only is it packed with fun facts, they are illustrated beautifully and even have life size pictures to give the reader a real sense of reality even if it is something many miles away. Read on to discover more about Animal Atlas and for a chance to win your copy of this wonderful new publication.
More about Animal Atlas
The book takes you across continents and oceans exploring the incredible animals that live there. Feel the enormity of our planet with the double spread fold out pages. From a life size look at an eagles claw to the frozen habitat and wonder of the polar bear this book covers it all. See how animals adapt to their environment and see the impact we have on their lives. This book touches science and geography and delves into our history. A great way to understand and respect the planet we all know and love.
What we love
Fun to read with fold out pages and secret fold out fact flaps
We were sent our copy of Animal Atlas for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts expressed here are my own. The Coombe Mill copy can be borrowed by our holiday guests from the book library in the games room.
Welcome to the festive month of December. It feels rather like the whole country has gone Christmas crazy and Christmas spirit is well and truly buzzing. I hope I can interrupt your planning for the big day with a little update for you from the farm, an offer you can’t refuse for next year and of course all the best local events in Cornwall for December if you are joining us.
Reserve any 2020 holiday this December for FREE
I know this one made a big difference to many of you last year, so we are bringing it back again.
Secure your favourite week in your favourite property next year by simply placing the booking:
Online: Write “Pay March” in special instructions. Pull out when asked to pay a deposit. I will see your booking at this point and confirm that I will hold it for you until the end of March. I’ll email you at the start of March to remind you about the deposit payment.
By phone: just call 01208850344 and secure the booking by phone.
By email: provide your name, when you last came (if you’ve stayed before) phone number, address, number in the party, week and property wanted.
If your booking is in January or February you can still book in December but pay January. Just write “Pay January” instead of “Pay March” in special instructions
Holiday news from the farm
The Chickens have come indoors
After October half term the chickens have all moved to their indoor quarters. This will keep them dry and cosy with a deep wood chip floor and electric lighting to compensate for the short daylight hours.
Free Range Goats
The goats are enjoying free ranging the tractor route while we have no guests staying. This has the benefit of munching down all the brambles and overgrowth, reducing our animal food bills, natural pruning of the pathways and a varied diet for the goats. It’s a ‘win win’ situation for everyone. Most importantly Dusty, or Houdini as Nick now calls him for his ability to escape all but the ‘Sin Bin’ field where he has ended up in isolation over the summer, is now reunited with his friends. Even Dusty can’t escape over the river.
Cottages over the road
Camel Side Cottages comprising of Tree Roots, Honeysuckle and Willow are now separated from Coombe Mill with gates and its own sign, website and booking system.
The train is in Farmer Nick’s shed waiting a new lick of paint, while the train track has all been lifted and stored. The plan is to run it along the path of the lodges and Farmer Nick has begun the trench for this. We hope to have it up and running as soon as possible in spring.
This has to go to Lucy Williams. Lucy and her family have been coming to Coombe Mill for many years. Family holiday memories have built up to the point where their latest family addition now has her middle name as ‘River’ after the river Camel running through Coombe Mill. How wonderful is that? (Photos from Lucy’s last visit in October half term)
Christmas and New Year
All that remains is for me to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and New Year. We have a last minute cancellation in Eden if you can take advantage and space over New Year if you fancy a little country escape. Otherwise don’t forget to take us up on our December offer for next year.
Show someone special you care with a personal gift this Christmas. With ASDA Photo it couldn’t be easier. They have a wide selection of household products, accessories and handy everyday items ready to be personalised as gifts this festive season. Personalised photo gifts are perfect for family and friends. With quick turnaround times and something to suit every budget you’ll be sorted for that unique present in a stocking or under the tree.
If this sounds like the answer to your Christmas shopping worries, read on to discover the range available and for your chance to WIN a personalised photo blanket worth £28.00.
Check out our handy ASDA Photo Gift Guide
ASDA Photo Product
Enjoy your favourite photos every day of the year with Asda Photo Calendars. Select from a wall, kitchen and desktop calendars. These calendars are simple to customise and ideal for printing several copies for all the family.
Check out these quality Photo Cushions. Choose from a wide range of design options (including the trendy sequin reveal cushions) and make them yours with a favourite photo and words. Printed on one side.
Make up a Photo Book for someone special. Photo Books make a wonderful keepsake for reliving those happy times. They are orderable in different sizes and styles; including the popular lay flat photo book which is great for showcasing landscape photos.
Slate Photo Panels
Show your best photographs off with these slate photo panels. The chiselled edge naturally frames the photo making them ideal for family portraits or holiday moments to keep forever.
Asda photo Personalised Mugs and travel mugs could be just your ‘cup of tea’. Choose from the wide range including ceramic, porcelain, latte, kids and the travel mug – Perfect for a warming hot chocolate, that morning wake up coffee or grabbing a cuppa on the way out to work or the school run.
What better than a jigsaw with your own special scene to create. The puzzles come in a range of sizes and difficulty levels to keep everyone entertained from little ones to adults. There is even a pairs game that is ideal for stocking filler.
For something to display on the wall why not choose a canvas print of your favourite photo? These are available in a range of sizes and designs including collage and retro prints.
Never muddle your towel up again with a Personalised Towel. These soft and fluffy towels are available as a Tea Towel or traditional beach towel. Perfect for the home or taking away on holiday.
The Asda Photo keyrings make a perfect little stocking filler or Secret Santa gift. Choose your favourite picture and turn it into a stylish Personalised Key ring. They are available in a range of shapes and with a choice of backs (from double-sided to glitter).
A Photo Blanket makes a wonderful keepsake for a loved one, remind them of a favourite time, place or event to wrap up inside. Choose from the range of sizes and designs finished with traditional edge stitching.
Win a Personalised blanket worth £28 with ASDA Photo and Coombe Mill
If you fancy a blanket with one of your favourite photos as a gift or to snuggle up on winter evenings yourself simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking in part.
The Coombe Mill Halloween Fun Day is one of the farm annual highlights. It has developed and grown over the years into a day that holiday makers return for year after year. This year followed the highly success format of 2018, but with a few additions to keep things fresh.
Halloween Fancy Dress Feed Run
Our usual morning tractor and trailer ride to feed the animals was turned into a fancy dress feed run. The trailer really looked the part and even Farmer Nick joined in with fancy dress.
Perhaps the highlight of the feed run was discovering spooky Halloween chocolate eggs in place of farm eggs at the chickens
Families then had the middle of the day free while I moved decorations from the Trailer to the train tunnel and added to them and prepared the pumpkin crafts for the afternoon.
Last year we provided pumpkins for carving as part of the carts. It was so successful I thought I’d extend it to this year but instead of just handing out pumpkins I hid them in the fairy garden so the children’s first task was to go on a pumpkin hunt.
Armed with a pumpkin each the children set about designing their pumpkin and then carving. We had plenty of adults on hand to help out with this. When it came to scooping out the middle, we reserved the seeds and flesh for baking.
We made pumpkin cakes indoors, very similar to the blackberry cakes of a few weeks before, but substituting the blackberries with grated pumpkin flesh.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This is one of my favourite things to do with pumpkins. The seeds are so easy to roast. Simply clean them in water and pat them dry, then transfer them to a roasting dish, add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil before roasting in the oven or under a hot grill for around 10 minutes or until golden. It is worth shaking the seeds mid way through cooking to ensure they toast nicely on both sides.
The children filled jars with the toasted seeds and made spider tops from cereal boxes while the cakes cooked.
Halloween Party Games
We cleared away the baking tables and turned up the Halloween music for a bit of fun with musical statues and musical bumps. The children were so good it was hard to catch anyone out, even with a wide age range. In the end I had them spinning and bumping to make it harder for them and easier for me! There were treats for all so everyone was a winner really.
Daytime turned to night times during our games and the children were really excited for our last two events, the Ghost train and Trick or Treat. We made our way over to the train station by torchlight and everyone enjoyed at least two round of train riding in the dark with a spooky tunnel of fun.
The evening ends in style with a huge trick or treat procession. This is totally unique and very Coombe Mill. We go from property to property as an organised group. Weonly stop if there is a pumpkin lit outside. Between the ones we carved together and extras created by families in their own time there were some real works of art
Trick or Treat challenges my voice. My trick is to keep order, keep everyone safe and ensure the little ones have as much of a chance to call at each house as the bigger kids. Excitment is full on as this is the real highlight of the evening for the children.
My thanks to all the parents for the wonderful treats and decorated properties. I think this might have been the best trick or treat ever. One little one told me as much which was totally spontaneous and adorable.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.